Complexity in Chinese herbal medicine supply chains

Booker, A., Fitzgerald, M., Heinrich, P.M. and Scheid, V. 2018. Complexity in Chinese herbal medicine supply chains. 66th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA) jointly with the 11th Shanghai TCM conference. Shanghai, PRC 26 - 29 Aug 2018

TitleComplexity in Chinese herbal medicine supply chains
AuthorsBooker, A., Fitzgerald, M., Heinrich, P.M. and Scheid, V.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Increasing demand for Chinese herbal medicines (CHM) has led to expanding supply chains.
Additionally, the incidence of CHM adverse events including fatalities has necessitated increased
compliance. [1] As regulators focus safety and suppliers on volume, a risk of divergence between
these presents with increasing complexity.

Aim:
To explore and evaluate factors which render CHM supply chains particularly complex and thus
potentially vulnerable.

Methods:
Literature search using keywords; “Chinese herbal medicine, complexity, problems, toxicity and
supply chain” (11th April 2018), yielded 325 relevant publications. 302 were excluded, 23 were
included. The model of A Booker-and M Heinrich on value chains was used in the analysis. [2]
Computer-aided thematic generation using (NVivo 11). Coding and thematic analysis with of Braun and
Clark methodology. [3]

Results and Discussion:
Findings show that 9 complexity factors impact CHM supply chains which can be represented by three
major themes; human, product and conceptual complexity. They contribute 21, 28 and 51% of the
complexity factors respectively.

Conclusion:
Most complexity in CHM supply chains is contributed by conceptual factors (such as medicinal
material status, regulation and value chain elements), followed by product and human complexity
aspects. There is a need to further explore the relationship between conceptual complexity and
the risk to product quality and safety.

KeywordsChinese herbal medicine
supply chain
Chinese herbal medicine
complexity analysis
thematic analysis
Year2018
Conference66th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA) jointly with the 11th Shanghai TCM conference
Accepted author manuscriptComplexity in Supply Chains GA 2108 Confernce-1.pdf
Publication dates
PublishedAug 2018
Web address (URL)https://www.ga-online.org/events

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